December 8, 2022

From a generation where Outkast, JayZ, Nas, 2pac, and others had their music played, jammed, sung on every street corner in the world; From a generation where music was a way to ease tensions between different communities in the neighborhood, to underline the violence of authority over society; To make us aware of the world we live in, and never forget it.

With her paintings, Rebecca Maria invites us to come and wander in a wave of nostalgia along with the rhythms and sounds of hip-hop culture. In each of her paintings, with thick strokes laid down in continuous movement, one quickly recalls the shapes and colors of the emblematic album covers that illustrated the greatest titles in the history of hip-hop and influenced an entire cultural movement. These works are very recognizable, although no realistic details are apparent, which makes her artistic signature. This style alters and blurs with lightness what is undeniably familiar to us. Rebecca Maria reveals a personal series of works from her youthful memories. She owes this cultural heritage to her father, who, despite her desire to change radio stations or albums, never gave in, inking this nostalgia that she keeps on remembering.

“Something I’ll never forget is the nostalgia feeling when I listen to these albums today and the times these albums were released,” Maria says. “I hope that’s something that stays with me and continues to inspire me.”

An atmospheric feeling emerges once you enter the gallery space. The suspended paintings are a direct reference to the time when record shops were hanging from the ceiling the CDs of “the moment”, swiveling by themselves following the movement of the customers in the shop. Rebecca Maria not only wants to pay homage to these artists by representing them on her canvases, she also wants us to discover this culture in situ within the gallery space itself. Through this experience, one cannot deny the sudden desire to back in time and to live the effervescence of the energy created at the time of the release of these albums.

Rebecca Maria is a self-taught artist in her practice, distinguishing herself by an approach that goes beyond what painting undertakes in its dimension. She distances herself from a conventional format of representation by making us experience fully what she wishes to share with us: her musical cultural heritage. She moves us and accompanies us with nostalgia that resonates melodiously within us. —Carlota de Torregrosa